Geomatics Civil Engineering

Scope and Objectives

Graduate study in Civil Engineering Geomatics at Oregon State University integrates fundamental spatial data and boundary law theoretical knowledge with practical applications. Students gain exposure to the latest in geomatics technologies and boundary theory. The M.S. and M.Eng. Programs prepare students for careers in civil engineering geomatics design, consulting, development, regulation, or construction. Additionally, the M.S. program provides the background for students more interested in teaching, research, or specialization to pursue the Ph.D. degree.

The practice of land surveying requires registration as a professional land surveyor. Such registration is obtained by completing eight years of acceptable land surveying experience and passing two sets of 8-hour exams. With selection of the appropriate surveying courses, the ABET -accredited B.S. degree in civil engineering provides four years of professional land surveying experience. OSU's undergraduate program allows students to be eligible to become both professional engineers and professional land surveyors. 

Students pursuing graduate school who have a BS degree in Civil Engineering (ABET\EAC) or Construction Engineering Management (ACCE) who take 16 credit hours of approved civil engineering geomatics courses are eligible to sit for the Fundamentals of Surveying Examination in addition to the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination in the State of Oregon. 

Program of Study

The program of study for the M.S. and M.Eng. degrees consists of a minimum of 45 credit hours, of which two-thirds of the work must be in the major area and one-third in the minor area. For the M.S. degree, a student with major professor approval may elect a thesis or non-thesis (technical report) option; a maximum of 12 credit hours is allowed for the thesis and 6 for a non-thesis option. Students who are supported with a Graduate Teaching or Research Assistantship (GTA or GRA) position must produce a research thesis. 

Alternatively, the M.Eng. degree requires coursework only; students pursuing the M.Eng. degree are generally not supported with GTA or GRA positions.

For the PhD degree, students are required to take 108 credit hours. Up to 45 credit hours from a previous M.S. degree may be counted. A maximum of 36 credit hours are allowed for thesis research. 

Interdisciplinary studies are encouraged for geomatics students. Up to 15 hours can be spent to focus in a minor area (Within CCE (e.g. geotechnical, transportation, ocean, etc.) and outside (e.g. geosciences, computer science, etc.) or other, if desired, and related to research.  

The courses offered in the geomatics engineering graduate curriculum are listed below. These courses assume that the student has a relevant undergraduate degree, particularly with courses equivalent to CE 361 – Surveying Theory and CE 202 Geographic Information Sciences.  Should the student not have these basic courses, they would be expected to complete them as they begin their graduate studies. 

Core Curriculum (PhD, MS, OR MENG)

Course Credit Hours  Term
CE 561 – Photogrammetry 3 Fall
CE 563 – Control Surveying 4 Spring
CE 566 – 3D Laser Scanning and Imaging 4 Fall
CE 568 – Least Squares Adjustments  3 Winter
CE 569 – Property Surveys 3 Spring
Both courses are for a PhD. One course is for an MS or MENG.     
CE 560 – ST/Fundamentals of Geodesy 4 Spring
CE 560 – ST/Global NAV Satellite System 4 Winter
Electives. Typically, offered yearly:    
CE 507 – SEM/Geomatics Seminar 1 All
CE 513 – GIS in Water Resources 3 Summer
CE 560 – ST/Advanced Geospatial Info Winter
CE 560 – ST/Advanced Virtual Design and Construction 3 Fall
CE 560 – ST/Hydrographic Surveying 4 Spring
CE 562 – Digital Terrain Modeling  4 Winter
CE 565 – Oregon Land Survey Law 3 Winter
CE 567 – Coastal Remote Sensing 4 Winter
CE 661 – Kinematic Positioning and Navigation 3 Fall


Recommended Electives and Minor Concentrations

Geomatics engineers work in multi-disciplinary settings, spending significant time in collaboration with civil engineers, computer scientists, planners, geoscientists, etc. The following courses are highly recommended:

Course Credit Hours
CE 551 – Computer aided site and road design  (4)
CE 647 – Ocean and Coastal Engineering Measurements   
CS 553 – Scientific Visualization  
CS 554 – Geometric Modeling in Computer Graphics  
FOR 521 – Spatial Analysis of Forested Landscapes   
FOR 5XX – Forestry Geomatics  
GPH 665 – Geophysical Field Techniques  
GEO 544 – Remote Sensing of the Environment  (4)
GEO 566 – Digital Image Processing   
GEO 585 – Advanced Remote Sensing and Digital Imaging Processing  

A graduate mathematics course of student’s choice relating to their research, subject to advisor approval (e.g. Least squares, statistics, topology, etc.)

A graduate computer programming course of student’s choice relating to their research, subject to advisor approval

Additional courses may be selected at the discretion of the major professor.


Learn more about civil engineering geomatics research

Geomatics Faculty